“Dress for the Job You Want”

I’ve heard the saying “Dress for the Job You Want” so many times that it’s one of those things that you believe at the back of your mind is true… like “time is gold” or “shoot for the moon”.

Net, I’m not aiming to disprove this concept.  I’m just referencing this to illustrate that HOW a message is conveyed has a huge impact on people’s acceptance of an idea.

Everything started when HR brought everyone together for a powow.  Even now, I still don’t know if there is more to the meeting than just reminders that could have just been sent via e-mail… But one of the key messages during the session was “Dressing for the Job You Want” and this ended up bothering me somehow.  Not because there’s anything wrong with this concept, but because of the supporting statements made by HR and some LT members to justify this which are:

1.  The VPs in the company are spending their time worrying about what people wear.  After going on and on about how he’s talked to many people in higher management and thus wanted to share what’s important to these people for our learning, HR shared that #1 priority is to meet commitment (agree) and #2 is that people should dress well (it must be important coz it’s the 2nd priority… I would think though that after talking to all those high management people, he’d know not to setup a meeting without sending an agenda…oh well…).  Apparently, it’s a “pet peeve” for many high management people when their subordinates dress sloppily.  This made me worry about the future of the company because at the rate that we are paying these VPs, their time is actually spent worrying about what people wear.  That’s a shameful waste of company resources.

2.  Some people’s style of dressing is comparable to BPOs or call centers agents.  Someone mentioned that other VPs compared their people’s fashion style to the folks working in the BPO industry.  When I asked what’s wrong with the BPO (aside from the appalling tendency to blow smoke at my face whenever I pass by..), the answer was “Well, we don’t work for the BPO industry, right?”.  The sheer arrogance that made certain people believe that we are better than others just because we work in a certain company or industry is amazing…  Pride goes before a fall…. 

3.  You accept and adjust to the fact that most people are shallow and will only take you seriously when you dress well…  There is also a statement made that dressing well means that you’ve overcome the first barrier of establishing credibility so that you can focus on just delivering.  That does make sense but what’s sad is that instead of leading the way to a new century of seeing beyond a person’s outward appearance, we pander to that shallow ideology of jumping to conclusion that a person has no substance unless he or she looks good.

Honestly, it would have been a fairly simple discussion had egos not come into play,  The above concept is actually fairly simple and there was no need to bring in the VPs and the call center industry and whatnot.  

Dressing for the Job You Want is all about professionalism.  Coming to work in your pajamas or gym clothes is not acceptable because you are not going to bed or working out.  Putting thought into what you wear is part of the preparation process for work.  You prepare for things that matter.  When you show people that you care enough to prepare for your work, people will then also care about it.  That’s it.  Image

 

“Dress for the …

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

Oh really? Let’s play out this recommendation in real life. Let’s say the job I want is that of an eccentric billionaire…and the job I have is lifeguard at the local pool. Well I gotta tell you, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to tread water in this three piece suit and top hat. See, the problem with this stupid quote is that it assumes the job you have is somewhere in the realm of the job you want. But assuming your goal in life is not to become manager at whatever depressing hourly wage job you’re stuck at this summer, dressing for the job you actually want is more likely to get you fired than promoted. They’re not coming to the strip club to see you dressed as a kindergarten teacher. Wait. Nevermind, bad example…

Excerpt from:  http://www.collegehumor.com/post/5233204/five-quotes-people-should-really-stop-using

Quote

The Glory of Winning

“Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them” – Napoleon Bonaparte

This is a bitter pill to swallow for a person with a strongly held belief that people should only be recognized for actually doing something and that recognizing people who did not do anything but just exist and hold a position, is rewarding bad behavior.

However, after working for 3 companies for a while, I have been a witness to how true the above quote is.  I posted the above status in Facebook yesterday to remind myself of this fact all the while hoping that I get the “serenity to accept things I cannot change”.

At the end of the day, there are really two kinds of people in the workplace: those who work and those who take the credit.  I keep reminding myself that  I would always want to be in the first group; there is less competition there and I get to keep my self respect. 🙂

The above quote may have unintentionally struck a chord for some people.  It did for me because it keeps me realistic; it reminds me of the realities of life.  It’s no use railing against this fact and after thinking about it, it’s not important enough that I would want to take the lead in changing this “institution”.  As they say, “pick your battles!” If people get their pleasure out of receiving accolades regardless of how it came about, then good for them!  As I always say, to each his/her own.  Live and let live.  No one owes anyone an explanation. 🙂